12.04.06

"You shouldn't be afraid to use your own ideas." -- Alan Moore

After I put my daughter in bed, read her a story, and say good night, I go to my office only a few steps from her room, sit in front of the Mac and start writing. Usually, I write for a few hours before Melissa gets home from work. After she goes to bed, I write for awhile longer. This has been my routine. Every night, I try my best to put words on the damn screen. Some of it gets deleted. Some of it is saved for another day. Other things I write actually get printed and published, and occasionally, people read it.

I try to encourage my Creative Writing students by saying: To be a writer, all it requires is that you write. Too simplistic to be encouraging, isn't it? Analogous to suggesting anyone who puts a band-aid on a cut is a doctor, or anyone who cooks is a chef. On the other hand, I'd hate to entertain that true requirement rests with a college degree and a paycheck. A doctor doesn't always heal, the chef spits in the food, and some nights, I just rock back and forth in my swivel chair staring at a glowing screen. Nothing happens. And I'm feeling beat down when I surrender for the night. A Tom Waits kind of sour mood.

When I write stories, I'm a mix of contradictions. I don't write to be validated, and yet I'm continually posturing for someone to care about what's there. Woefully transparent and a complete liar. Egotistical and self-loathing. Bitter and hopeful. Rum and coke. A bottle of Advil. A stack of spiral notebooks filled with unreadable ramblings, character notes, and half-finished plot ideas. Being fascinated with the craft. Trying to forget everything I've learned. It's the midnight disease. It's the 3 AM disease. Sometimes it's laying down for the night and then getting back up five minutes later, because I know I won't remember in the morning those thoughts I'm having at night. The continual search for finding my voice as a writer. Being comfortable with the process. Making myself uncomfortable with the process. Nit-picking and careless. I just want to tell good stories. No, I'm not ashamed of my enthusiasm.


Admittedly, the whole what-is-a-writer quandary is such a contrived topic, reserved for people who use words like "quandary". So how about I get to the point? A plea Melissa's been making since the day I met her. I usually counter with: Stories aren't about points. Lines or circles, maybe, but no points. I'm pointless. Even still...

Welcome to my website.

On this site, I've included 121 pages worth of previews available in the published work and other projects sections. These previews include never-before-seen excerpts from The Last Babysitter (illustrated by Shades of Blue artist Cal Slayton) and the nonfiction graphic novel Jack Ruby. All the scripts for everything I've published are available in pdf format. The site also hints at what's to come, such as a writing collaboration with Detective Boogaloo creator Jamar Nicholas and a two volume graphic novel series called Astronaut Dad -- with some gorgeous character designs. The links section has a ton of recommended sites, all worth checking out. I've added more photos to my scrapbook. As propaganda, I've posted excerpts from my reviews, and every interview I've done here. It's the proverbial report card posted on the refrigerator door.

A big thank you goes to comic book and graffiti artist ZeeS. He did artwork for this website, and it looks great.

To celebrate the new site and to entice you to actually post comments (talk to me!), I'm giving away some comics: two signed copies of Emily Edison, eight signed copies of Antigone, and one San Diego exclusive "Red Cover" edition of Karma Incorporated #1, signed by all three creators. Here's what you need to do. Post a comment to this blog entry, include an e-mail address or website where I can contact you. Eleven winners will be selected randomly. I'll get Melissa to pick numbers out from the total number of posts. All comics will be mailed in time for Christmas.

I update my blog fairly regularly, once a day. Check out my forum. Thanks for visiting. 2007 is going to be an interesting year.